Copper Theft Detection & Earthing Integrity Monitoring

Kingsmill Copper Theft Detection & Earthing Integrity Monitoring

Theft

Every year, copper is stolen from installations, whether they are:

  • Cell phone sites
  • Substations
  • Industrial complexes
  • Commercial complexes
  • Domestic dwellings

It is an ever-increasing problem resulting in:

  • Costly downtime
  • Safety issues including danger to life
  • Replacement material and installation costs

CuTS offers a way of monitoring theft. It works on most metals, so the application doesn’t have to be copper based. For example, CuTS works just as well on steel structures.

Earth Integrity Monitoring

Over time, anything buried in the ground corrodes. If that material is part of an earthing system providing a low impedance path to earth, then problems could arise.

CuTS® offers a way of monitoring the integrity of earthing systems, especially in remote sites. CuTS® can be used to monitor single asset earths on, for instance, a transformer or Earthing on the whole site.

CuTS® technology monitors earthing infrastructure in real time for theft, degradation and failure, providing operating companies with immediate, accurate intelligence on safety risks and service status.

  • Protecting staff and public from death and serious injury
  • Minimising outage risk and unplanned maintenance
  • Reducing consequential damages and other financial loss
  • CuTS® – Detecting earthing theft and degradation as it happens
  • Integrates with existing security & control infrastructure eg SCADA
  • Reports degradation of safety infrastructure
  • Proactively anticipate faults/optimise maintenance
  • Root cause analysis
  • Quick fault resolution
  • Reduce operational down time for services
  • Meet contractual performance commitments

CuTS® is a scalable solution designed for service environments where safety and continuity are paramount. CuTS® technology monitors earthing infrastructure in real time for theft, degradation and failure providing operating companies with immediate, accurate intelligence on asset status. Enhancing site safety protects staff and public from death and serious injury, minimises outage risk and unplanned maintenance thereby reducing consequential damages and other financial loss.

Kingsmill CuTS Copper Theft detection and Earthing Integrity Monitoring

Typical Applications

Power Transmission/Distribution

  • Substation grounding
  • Power cables

Telecoms

  • Mobile base station grounding
  • General site grounding

Rail infrastructure

  • Communications site grounding
  • Substation grounding

Wires are connected between representative points of the grounding infrastructure and the CuTS® unit. The inductive properties of the monitored infrastructure are then continuously compared to a controlled reference. The CuTS® unit incorporates a unique and highly sensitive patented inductance/impedance change monitoring system. Changes to the monitored grounding infrastructure (such as the theft of metal), induce changes in the measured inductance. On board algorithms apply filters and thresholds to understand the change and effectively manage non-relevant spurious site conditions such as voltages, ground connectivity, fault conditions or electrical discharges. Once analysed, appropriate notifications of the change are communicated.

Configuration is achieved through simple tuning/adjustment at installation via the CuTS® management interface. Notifications are sent to a cloud based interface via an IoT modem, and/or can be incorporated into existing monitoring platforms.

The impact of copper theft

Safety and service are the primary issues arising from copper theft from substations

The Facts

  • Theft of copper from substations is common
  • It represents serious safety and operational risk

Resultant outage and costs

  • Resultant damage to plant is often substantially more costly than the cost of replacing stolen material
  • Service outage (loss of service) may result in regulatory and/or compensation costs

Risk mitigation

  • Requires there to be knowledge of the event
  • Undetected events are potentially lethal on site
  • Undetected events can be a risk to the public at service delivery points

Technology

Features

  • Detects damage and physical disconnection of the earthing system (ie theft)
  • Detects changes in grounding infrastructure
  • System is difficult to circumvent
  • High impedance sensor input
  • Not susceptible to false alarms
  • Easy to install with no disconnections
  • Embedded Lightning and Surge Protection

Benefits

  • Alerts operator upon damage, disconnection or other physical change, such as corrosion
  • Secure against knowledgeable thieves
  • Does not interfere with grounding integrity
  • Avoids unnecessary investigation time
  • Common deployment procedure across all sites
  • No service interruptions to the site
  • Ensures minimal failure due to storms and operational surge events
  • Low cost compared to 24 hour manned monitoring . . .. . . Thus providing 360° 24 hour all-round monitoring (vs camera systems which require constantly manned monitoring, are susceptible to false alarms, have limited field of vision and might not cover the whole site)

Commercial

Features

  • Monitors grounding infrastructure above and below ground, providing unique data
  • Accurate location based fault detection
  • Permanently installed with very low asset and maintenance costs
  • Automated remote monitoring
  • Designed for remote or city sites
  • Flexible communications options

Benefits

  • Enhances asset and site safety
  • Reduces outage time when site compromised
  • Reduces engineering fix time and costs
  • Low lifetime cost
  • Cost reduction through reduced physical inspection
  • Minimises costs and maximises operational gain from common deployment
  • Provides future proofing for changing technologies communications systems

How it works

  • CuTS® monitors metallic infrastructure for change due to cutting, removal, damage or degradation
  • CuTS® system looks for changes in the monitored infrastructure inductance characteristics
  • The monitored infrastructure is coupled into a sensing circuit via sense wire inputs which detects minor changes (down to below 0.02μH)
  • When change occurs beyond the adjustable thresholds, the unit alarm is activated sending secure alerts
  • Filter thresholds include extent of change detected and duration of change – this copes with site faults and other events
CuTS - How it works

Client portal

Clients are provided with their own Portal Dashboard from where they can monitor all sites and activity. Examples of client data that is available through the Portal Dashboard are shown below:

All sites status table

Site map view

Site details

Contact us for a full demonstration of the CuTS Copper Theft Detection & Earthing Integrity Monitoring system.